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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    March 14, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00am PDT  

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two bar pack. this is nature valley. nature at its most delicious. habemus papum, or if you're talking c-pap, what's latin for "let circus begin." it's thursday, march 14th, and this is "now."
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i'm joy reed in for alex wagner and joining me today, msnbc political analyst and washington bureau chief at "mother jones" david cornyn and msnbc political analyst and georgetown professor michael eric tyson and msnbc political analyst jonathan alter of bloomberg view. today marks the opening for the conservative political action conference. next hour, attendees will hear addresses from senators marco rubio and rand paul. 10,000 conservatives are expected at the annual conservative idea fest. which kicked off in all its glory this morning. this is like woodstock for conservatives. grover norquist told the "washington post." political columnist roger simon was less charitable. calling it the ames straw poll without the fun. going in, much of the media bus
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surrounded the fact that governors chris christie, and bob mcdonald as well as gay rights organization go proud got dissed. donald trump, issarah palin wil be here. >> this c-pac convention is the "star wars" bar scene of the conservative movement. all that's missing is a couple of wookys. >> yes and yoda. let's get to this morning's speakers. first up, former florida congressman, alen west. >> real peace comes from the marine corps, not the peace corps. when more americans prefer freebie does freedom. these great united states will be become a fertile ground for tyranny. i'm speaking from experience when i tell you there's nothing on this green earth that a liberal progressive fears more than a black american who wants a better life and a smaller government. >> how in the world did he ever lose his job? meanwhile senator pat toomey
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gave attendees a revisionist history lesson as to who was responsible for the economic recession. >> the fact is the policies that got us into this mess were the policies of a big government, liberal policies of failed monetary policy and encouraging lending to people who couldn't pay loans back. it was the left that got us into this mess. that's a fact. >> and the keynote speaker this year? the future of the party and official ghost of joseph mccarthy summoner, ted kcruz, wo is hell-bent on revisiting the past with his vote to defund president obama. he follows in the proud tradition of past keynote speakers. last year, it was sarah palin. in 2011, allen west, in 2010, glen beck and before that, rush limbaugh. thought leaders? not exactly. the republican party is facing an identity crisis said gop pollster, deceive lombardo. but not that the party doesn't know who it is.
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it's that the party knows exactly who they are and they don't want to move from a very rigid, defined identity. when the party finds itself out of the mainstream on almost every issue, establishing a credible governing philosophy won't be easy. joining us from cpac in national harbor, maryland, is nbc news's casey hunt. casey, how are you? >> thanks, joy, doing well. >> so give us a little bit of a flavor of what's going on there. what's the buzz this early afternoon? >> of course, well that identity crisis that you referred to is already on full display and we've only been here for few hours. gop is wrestling with how to expand the base to include more hispanics, more of those voters they're going to need to win elections. this morning you had allen west, who you showed standing up here saying that the new gop efforts, insisting they need to do a better job connecting were malarkey. on the other hand you had the chairman of the conference standing up and saying that really, you know, the gop just
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needs to shoehorn more people into that tent. that's before we've ever heard from on the one hand, leaders. new republican party, senators rand paul and marco rubio and the old in mitt romney and sarah palin. set to speak later this week. >> are the people that you're talking to, the actual civilians attending the conferences, who are they most excited to see, who are you hearing the most buzz about? >> people are very, very excited about rand paul. his folks, the paul team always does a great job of organizing for this conference. people are also really talking about marco rubio. interested to hear what he has to say. but of course, allen west always gets a huge reception whenever he shows up and there were people crowding around, trying to snap pictures of him like he was really a celebrity this morning. >> even though he lost his seat. the people on the left were laughing the loudest. he who laughs loudest, goes first. jonathan alter, is this a problem that the republican party is having? the young people at cpac, they want to see rand paul, they wan to see allen west, they don't
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want to see establishment figures that the smart people in the party say they're supposed to revere. >> there's a circus party aspect to it. i remember going to cpac a couple of years ago and the same week i went to the teach for america convention. which was four times larger than cpac and got no publicity. part of it a publicity stunt for grover norquist every year. where they're headed for trouble is that rand paul is an isolationist. so we're now moving to a far right of the republican party that might be divided over very basic issues of foreign policy. >> so basically the party there are two parts of it. each of which do know exactly who they are i'll go to you, dr. geist, bass their philosophy is based on purity, what kind of purity? the neocon purity that says we're not isolationists that we want to go around the world and change the world? or is it purity that the idea of
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we're just about cutting spending in government? >> the internal dispute is what's telling on their publicity machinery here. because if you've got you know, reputable people saying look, this looks like the wookys and when i see allen west there, when he says black people are interested in smaller government, they did, they chose not to re-elect you. so what's interesting is that the, if you will, frack as from within is about the soul of the republican party. is it going to be the outliers who say we're the ones who are the litmus test for the future of this country. if you can't be sexy, crazy, mad, you can't get the attention of the public. >> megan, i want to come to you, but i want to read something that was written by michael moynihan in the "daily beast." what he said, as anyone who has attended a recent cpac has witnessed, the grassroots activists of the right are a rather different species from the average republican voter.
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seem increasingly capable of calm lg arguing that america is being forced off the road to prosperity and onto the road of serfdom, concerns about over-leaning government, which one could manage about debt, drones and taxts are punctuated with remarks of marx or mao. is it a problem that the people that go to cpac, thatib ilk of e party is too loud in their crazy messaging. >> i coined jane's law, when i was blogging und a pseudonym. people that are devoted to to the party that has the white house are smug and arrogant. and people devoted to the party that's out of the white house are insane. this is an irregularity you can observe in politics, when bush was in office, it wasn't enough thaw didn't like the iraq war or that -- he actually had to be hitler, right? he actually had to be just the dark knight of fascism was about
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three minutes from descending on to the united states throughout the entire bush administration. and you've got some of that here at cpac now, right? this is what's on display. now obviously there's the question of how does a party manage those people? because they're in both parties, they're always quite loud among themselves. what's interesting about cpac is that this is seen as being an influential movement that actually has influence in the kind of boring respectable halls of congress. >> i want to argue that, if i can. because the craziness in the republican party is not anything you know, equivalent to what went on with the democrats when they didn't have the white house. you look at the 2004 race. look at who the democrat candidates were. all respectable kind of mainstream democrats, whether you go from john kerry to john edwards. >> dennis kucinich. >> he was an elected member of congress. if you look at the nutcases -- >> how about michelle batchmckm?
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>> he had never accused george w. bush being in the nazi party. she had accused obama of being in the communist party. he was an outlier. most, 90% of your candidates last year -- >> my candidates? i voted for obama last time. >> the republican party candidates were outliers, off the playing field. the republicans and this is a conservative conference. this isn't a republican conference. they've gone so far off the map. it's affected what's happened in the house as well. it was the house republicans who invited the tea partiers to have a rally on the capital grounds against the health care bill in which they called obama a nazi. nothing like this ever happened on the democratic side. >> isn't the difference between the two, i think is that when people were calling bush you know, doing hitler references to bush, the party itself didn't empower them. whereas the republican party decided to specifically empower the conservative movement.
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>> and kowtow to them. >> right, kasie, al cardness, in charge of the american conservative union that puts on cpac, he had an interesting quote when he talked about whether or not the republican party even wants to be a big tent. what he said is i'm a firm believer that if the republican party going to have success, it will do so by being a conservative party and not a home for everybody. that's how you grow, you grow your tent by convincing others and persuading others that yours is the way and you build your tent by reaching out to the new demographics of americans not with a watered-down version of who we ought to be, but with a true, real solid version of who we are. the idea being, the idea at cpac is not to grow the tent by bringing in people who have a different view, it's to basically browbeat the existing view of conservatism until somehow they convince others to join what they believe. is that the sense you get from people on the ground? or are they saying no, we want a bigger tent? >> there's a lot of tension here between the activists, the folks that show up at a conference
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like this, and the political operatives, the professionals and you're starting to see that come out on stage. there was a pollster was up on stage talking about how republicans really need to work on immigration for example to reach out to hispanics. somebody in the crowd yelled out very loudly "legally." at that. which is something that on the one hand you have the leadership in congress very actively trying to work on this. understanding it could make a big difference in winning elections in the future. on the other hand, you have this group of activists as you've mentioned who really feel very strongly about this. and conservatives need to make sure that they're figuring out a way to bring them on board. >> what is the stronger vibe at cpac? is it republicanism or conservatism as they understand it? >> it's definitely conservatism. that's the idea, they clearly aren't afraid to take stands at odds with the republican party. and new jersey governor chris christie is one of the most popular republican figures at the moment, very popular governor was essentially snubbed, not invited by organizers who say he hasn't had a conservative year.
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he embraced president barack obama in the wake of hurricane sandy. and he urged congress to push through a pretty expensive aid bill to help stuff out. as a consequence, he's not here. >> and that he got some obama on him. i want to come back to the panel. jonathan, isn't that the reason that the republican party going to have a problem? the base of their party doesn't care about growing, they care about their ideology? >> one of the interesting things is that grover norquist who is basically in charge here, this is his party, he prevented any strongly anti-immigrant speakers from being on the program because he's pro immigration reform. so he's trying to move the party in the direction of a bigger tent. we'll see how that plays out. >> there are parts of the conservative base that think that he's a supporter of terrorists, right? he is not necessarily -- >> he is not necessarily running the party. >> the keynote speaker is ted cruz, who may end up leading the republican effort against immigration reform and legalization. >> well we're going to have to leave it there. we want to thank kasie hunt. after the break, the name has changed, but the the acronym
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remains the same, why organizing for action critics want to have it both ways. hey. they're coming. yeah. british. later. sorry. ok...four words... scarecrow in the wind... a baboon... monkey? hot stew saturday!? ronny: hey jimmy, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? jimmy: happier than paul revere with a cell phone. ronny: why not? anncr: get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
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i used it to say that being present with a politician, is like perpetually having a kid in college. because you're writing checks all the time. and you know, it doesn't seem like the kid ever graduates. well you know i've graduated. i've run my last campaign. but we're not done with the work
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that led me to run in the first place and i'm hopeful that with your continued ideas and support, your voices, that we can continue to make progress. >> that was president obama last night, taking a short break from the tense budget battles on capitol hill to address a more sympathetic audience. a group of high-level democratic donors to organizing for action, the pro obama advocacy group that sprung from president obama's re-election campaign. he laid out his vision for the group. emphasizing the importance of their support in order for him to fulfill the promises of his campaign. while this may have been the first time the president addressed the group publicly, it's not the first time o.f.a. has been in the spotlight. the group came under fire recently after "the new york times" reported that high-level donors to o.f.a. would gain special access to the president. but since then, o.f.a. has taken pay-to-play off the table. last week, o.f.a.'s director published an op-ed responding to the criticisms saying the group will refuse corporate donations and increase transparency.
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writing whether you're a volunteer or a donor, we can't and we won't guarantee access to any government officials. special interests shouldn't have a stranglehold on the policy-making process. for every lobbying group that puts 0 dollar on the air, tearing down the president's agenda and organizing for action volunteer will mobilize to counter it. what will o.f.a. be doing exactly? at this point it's not clear. but one thing is certain, organizing for action puts democrats between a rock and a hard place, do they play along with o.f.a.'s money game and win the political messaging wars? or sacrifice political gains and side with campaign finance purists who argue that o.f.a. is essentially selling influence? it's quite the quagmire. the republican party may be winning the political schizophrenia contest these days, but when it comes to money in politics, democrats aren't too far behind. i got to go to the right of the table this time. david cornyn, shocking. people who live lots of money get access to politicians? say it isn't so.
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>> there's, there's a real admirable side to o.f.a. we always say you get people involved, that what happens in washington should not be left just to washington. and when obama's first campaign was over, he had a 13 million member mailing list. people said how come he's not mobilizing those people? it costs money to mobilize and you needs an organizational infrastructure to do so the fact that he's trying to find a way to mobilize people who believe in him to stay engaged in the policy fights with gun control and immigration, that's good. when it comes to funding this, they're going to have to make sure there's complete transparency and they're not letting fat cats find another way to seek influence. i think there's, that is not beyond human imagination. finding ways to do that. i think they've gotten off to a rough start. they shouldn't do that they should roll on and i welcome the republicans trying to mobilize 13 million people. to oppose immigration reform.
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>> and i got to go to michael. in the african-american community, particularly on the media side, what do we always hear every election, where is the resources, why isn't there more money being spent on media. why aren't people being mobilized earlier? it costs money to put radio ads on the air. what is this allergy to raising the money to do what we supposedly want done? >> the philosophy is revenge while you're in office, reform while you're out. the reality is you've got to match dollar with dollar, you've got to fight fire with fire. all of these people who are saying to president obama, you're weak, the infrastructure is absent. you haven't taken advantage as david corn has said, of the incredible list you have and how do you facilitate building a bridge between the cash that's out there and the cats, fat or skinny who want to take advantage of that? i think in this sense as david corn said, we have to be transparent. we have it talk about limits, we have to talk about one-to-one
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correlation between i gave big money and therefore i get to the president. and the shame here is, is that he has to raise private money to leverage public policy on behalf of american citizens. who invented that? obama didn't start that mess. >> and he's also doing this to fight lobbying interests that have a lot of money behind them. >> before i get to jonathan, this is too good not to play. this is the ultimate in irony, this is karl rove of american crossroads. joining in this criticism, with "the new york times" of what o.f.a. is trying to do. so let's play karl rove giving his opinion. >> helping seniors cross the street? appropriate. texting during dinner? inappropriate. selling access to the president for $500,000? >> perfectly appropriate. >> um, what? >> perfectly appropriate.
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>> the obama administration officially ending all white house tours. >> but with a perfectly appropriate donation of a half million dollars, president obama will come to you. >> jonathan, that was karl rove's american crossroads, they're running that ad, they take that idea seriously. that they are in a position to criticize o.f.a. for raising money and supposedly selling influence. >> look, the 2012 campaign will be remembered for having built the largest, most sophisticated grassroots political organization of all time. you know what the average donation was to o.f.a.? $65. this is an army of millions of donors. the real question about it is whether the people who gave during the campaign will now step up and realize, they have to send in their contributions of $15, $20, $50 in order to advance the president's agenda. o.f.a. made a big mistake a couple of weeks ago in saying they would accept so-called dark money. which is money that you don't
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have to disclose. and they've now reversed themselves, that was a really bad idea. now that they're on record for transparency, if the people step up, then they will have an even footing on which to fight the sheldon adelsons of the world, people giving $100 million apiece. not $50,000 apiece. $100 million apiece. >> and karl rove for lunch all the time. >> i'm not sure that anyone is that interested in lunching with karl rove. but the problem that all of these movements have, i think the real question that the democrats are starting to face about president obama, the extent to which how much of this is actually centered on obama. how much of this is going to survive him? he's incredibly charismatic and popular. how many of these people are giving to supporting obama. how many people will still be on the list once obama is no longer on the ticket.
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o.f.a., to build an infrastructure that will survive this presidency made some missteps. i think that like obama when he was running in 2008, big promises on transparency, no lobbyists in the white house, we're going to have all of these disclosures, didn't happen. and now transparency groups are starting to complain. >> they did do some. >> they did a lot more than anyone before it. but that is -- he promised he wouldn't have any of it. >> will martin luther king jr. be the be all and end all. charismatic authority even in a socialological criticism, translated into an institutional infrastructure. we got the civil rights bill and voting rights bill. so charisma is not necessarily antithetical to institutional infrastructure. you've got to leverage the charisma. >> as they're trying to build that infrastructure, right, you start reaching out to donors, you start to say we'll take dark money. and it's hard to get people to give $65 apiece. >> and we have afforded the public financing in the fall in
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both 2008 and 2012. they shattered campaign finance reforms. the administration has some responsibility to come forward with legislation. >> at the end of the day, what o.f.a. did was not just in the charismatic figure of barack obama, they embedded themselves in 2008. they were already there, it was a turn-key operation that could be used by this president and theoretically could be used in the congressional races, if they do that, it requires money. it's sort of a catch-22. you can't win either way. you have to raise the money to do the work. but if you raise the money, democrats feel the angst about this. democrats hate raising money. it makes them feel all bad inside. >> cash-2. coming up, debt and spending are for better or worse, ingrained features of the american economy. since when did cutting the deficit become such a big budget priority. we'll discuss the gop's attention deficit disorder when the ranking member of the house budget committee, congressman
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no mas pantalones! well president obama holds meet-and-greets with gop members on capitol hill, the same republicans continue to beat the deficit drum. can the two sides find common ground, if one side wants growth and the other side just wants cuts, we'll talk outreach and ideology when congressman chris van holland joins us, next. carfirmation. only hertz gives you a carfirmation. hey, this is challenger. i'll be waiting for you in stall 5. it confirms your reservation and the location your car is in, the moment you land. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast.
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[ crisp crunches ] whoo-hoo-hoo! guess it was. [ male announcer ] pringles, bursting with more flavor. in just a few minutes, president obama will arrive on capitol hill to meet with senate republicans. the rival budgets released this week by senate democrats and republicans in the house are sure to be a focus of the discussion. in an interview with abc news, the president slammed paul ryan's insistence on deep, drastic spending cuts saying we
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don't have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. in fact for the next ten years, it's going to be in a sustainable place. the question is, can we do it smarter, can we do it better? if the only goal of a budget was to make it as small as possible, congressman paul ryan would be your man. his budget reduces the deficit by an additional $2.75 trillion compared to senator patty murray's plan. but the race to a budget is not the goal of a budget. foumtly a budget is a reflection of your core values, and which investments you believe are necessary. to those who say government should treat its budgets the way households do, it's important to point out that a family's budget works the same way. parents don't pull their kids out of school or deliberately starve themselves or stop going to the doctor for the singular doing mattic purpose of spending as little as possible. and taking out kretic is both part of american culture and key to growing the economy. for instance, 71% of americans
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take out mortgages to buy a house, 60% of students take out student loans to go to college and 46% of americans carry credit card balances each month to buy things. therefore, growing the economy and creating jobs. to be sure, too much debt is not a good thing. in an economy is not ruined by debt alone. this is paul ryan's third budget and two years after his first, the fundamental fight over values has not changed. president obama outlined the contrast in 2011 with paul ryan in the audience. >> this vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social contract in america. i don't think there's anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it that's not a vision of the america i know. >> unfortunately republicans refuse to accept that america has already ruled on this issue. e.j. dion writes that the 2012 elections ought to have settled
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these issues, it takes nerve to dismiss the results of an election that ryan himself called a referendum. the ryan budgets are feeling like a cheap ripoff of "groundhog day." >> i think the american public decided not to watch the end of it in november. they sent a clear message that they wanted something different than this romney/ryan proposal. that hurts americans. >> joining us now from capitol hill is maryland congressman and ranking member of the house budget committee, chris van holland. congressman, good afternoon. >> good afternoon, joy. >> congressman, how did this happen? how did the whole idea of budgeting in washington get hijacked by this zeal for cutting deficits and debt? >> well as you said, what our real focus has to be is jobs and the economy. we've seen some momentum, in the job market. this is the last time that we should be putting the breaks on
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the momentum. but that's exactly what this republican budget would do. according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office it would result in 750,000 fewer jobs by the end of this year. so we've seen from some of our european partners that as you tartd and slash-and-burn budgetsing slows down your economy. rather than helps job creation. so they're taking us in exactly the wrong direction if those, if author those of us who want to make sure we get more people back to work. >> congressman val holland, if i may, while you're saying that and you're saying they're trying to take us in this wrong direction, why do i feel like this is the first time i've heard democrats, including the president, actually speak up and say hold on a second, we really don't actually have a big deficit problem. i feel like in a lot of ways, a lot of democrats have conceded the point it's not whether we should slash the deficit, just how. >> well because we have two issues, joy, right now our focus has to be on getting the economy
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moving again. in the longer term there's no doubt that we have do deal with rising deficits. that's what we do in our budgets, we focus on job creation and job growth, making important investments now. but we make targeted deficit reduction in the out years to bring the outyear deficits under control. we do not want our deficits growing faster than the economy. we want to stabilize our debt but we want to do it in a way that maintains our commitments to our seniors and invests in economic growth. that's what the democratic proposals will do. they'll invest in long-term economic growth. but in a targeted way, both by smart cuts, by closing all of those tax loopholes for high-income people. by the way, mitt romney and paul ryan talked about during the campaign -- those tax breaks are all still there. by eliminating those tax breaks, we can take a balanced approach to reducing the long-term deficit. which is an issue. but you shouldn't sacrifice economic growth now, on the
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altar of deep cuts and an austerity philosophy. >> i want to bring the panel in because you know, the congressman talks about making smart cuts now. what's in it for democrats to do any grand bargaining at all. any savings that would be applied in cutting the budget, would not be applied to their priorities. it's not as if you're going to reduce government spending on x and spend it more on the poor, spend it more on things democrats care b. why are democrats arguing for a budget at all? >> you and i don't agree on this, joanne. i think long-term, as congressman van holland says, you have to create a sustainable budget path. with the baby boomers, retirement and all sorts of other huge coming costs, we need to have some modest sensible reforms that don't hurt people. those are possible to do. small changes yield huge savings. having said that the republicans aren't actually in favor of fighting the deficit.
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they just want lower taxes. they're not interested in truly balancing the budget. if you look at the plans and how long it takes them to balance the budget. so the part of the debate that i think is a problem now is that the democrats keep saying we want revenue increases instead, what democrats should be for are closing the loopholes that mitt romney talked about ad nauseam in the first debate. >> balanced budgets don't produce economic growth. >> we're talking about some budget sanity. >> here's the problem, the problem is in this political climate, to talk about the reasonable proposition that jonathan alter put forward is null and void. the focus is so ideologically blinded with their obsession with cutting taxes for wealthy people. when you talk about closing loop hoels, we know wages, interest and taxes have closed the income inequality in america. business income and retirement income has exacerbated the
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inequality. and capital gains have made it worse. the point is that the republicans are not interested in having that conversation. in this ideological climate, sensible, rational policies and approaches as obama has discovered, will not work. you fight rhetorical fire with rhetorical fire. the problem is you don't have a way to speak about a budget in a sane, rational manner. >> there's a political challenge. the republicans have succeeded, i would like to hear what the congressman says about this, in equating deficit and economy and jobs and tax-cutting. they've done a better job for years now, can measure the economy by looking at the government's budget. the craziness extends to the point where they blame government spending for what happened on wall street in 2008 as we heard pat toomey say earlier in the show and the democrats have not had enough of a resounding counter to this. the president has just recently tried in the interview with george stephanopoulos.
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>> to that point, i want to bring the congressman back in. the speaker of the house, your colleague, congressman van holland what i think was some of the most empty rhetoric in an op-ed. this is the way republicans argue this issue. all of these bipartisan discussions are encouraging, talking about the meet-and-greets with the president and the republicans hope they'll lead to real solutions that help american families. presidential leadership is what's needed by shifting the focus from charm to courage and action, we can guarantee our children a future. everybody has the opportunity to find work and pursue their piece of the american dream. first of all, ha does that mean and in the world does that have to do with cutting deficits. mr. van holland? >> well, you're right, you know what, there's a very low standard for emptiness around
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here. i think they achieved it in that. look, look, it's the same story you heard during the recovery period, when republicans said the stimulus bill wouldn't help put people back to work but they were writing into government agencies saying please spend some of that money in my district to help save jobs and put people back to work. the notion, the notion that government investments, whether it's in roads or bridges or schools, doesn't help produce economic activity and jobs, is crazy. and republicans admit it. because whenever you talk about reductions in the defense spending, they say it's going to lose lots of jobs. eric cantor said on the floor of the house last september, if the sequester went into place, they would lose 200,000 jobs in virginia. and then they turn around and tell you you've got to cut spending to create jobs. look. it's, it's total nan senonsense
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know from the europeans that austerity doesn't work and what irks our republican colleagues when we tell them all we're trying to do is follow the european model of austerity, which doesn't work. >> behind closed doors, you can tell us, it's just us here, there's nobody else in the room. do they admit that government spending stimulates the economy? is this just for show? is this like boehner's op-ed where it's gauzy rhetoric meant to blur the distinction between cutting spending and creating the blessed american dream. one-on-one, do republicans admit to you, chris van holland, that they need federal money to stimulate things things in their districts. >> we were up until 11:30 last night debating the house republican ryan budget. one republican after another would say that this government spending actually does not create one single job. and then you say to them, well how is it that when you invest in building roads and bridges, which is good for the economy and our transportation system, how is it that that doesn't put
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construction workers back to work? well -- frankly they don't have a good answer to it. and as i said, they say that when you're building an aircraft carrier with government money, that that puts people back to work. but building a road? that doesn't. it does not compute. and so -- look, we're in this kind of crazy system right now, where republicans are making the argument that you have said, which is you got to cut now to grow the economy. cut and grow. well the reality is, if you cut, that fast, you go down fast in terms of job loss. that's not to say that we shouldn't do things now to make sure that we reduce the long-term deficit. including closing all of those tax breaks that mitt romney himself said went to high-income earners. he said you could get $3 trillion or $4 trillion from that. you can't get $3 trillion or $4 trillion from that, but you could get a lot of money to help reduce the long-term deficit.
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together with sensible and smart targeted cuts in the out years and get it all done. >> all right well i want to thank the congressman, go on. >> what dot republicans say to you, joy, frame theed the question well a minute ago. when you say to them, mitt romney and you and all the other republicans were for closing loopholes, just last fall during the presidential campaign. and now you're saying it's an unconscionable tax increase to do what you just supported a few months ago? what's their answer to that? >> they've always taken the position that you can't eliminate one special tax break for the purpose of reducing the deficit. you can only do it for cutting rates somewhere else, which goes to your point, jonathan, which is their real interest here, is not reducing the deficit or debt. if that was their primary objective, why would you oppose closing a tax break for hedge fund managers or big oil companies in order to reduce the deficit? that's not their priority. grover norquist told us clearly ha their priority was a long
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time ago. he said it was to get government down to the size where could you drown it in a bathtub. that's what this is all about from their side. >> i want to thank you very much for allowing us all to interrogate you about the secret musings of your colleagues. thank you very much congressman chris van holland and we are waiting for president obama to arrive on capitol hill. where he's expected to meet with senate republicans, maybe they'll have lunch and then later with the house democratic caucus, we'll bring you any new developments when we get them and have more after the break. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's,
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life opens up when you do. retty conservative. oral-b deep sweep 5000 power brush. very logical thinker. (laughs) i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours. while his age has left some watchers scratching their heads, pope francis' reputation as a champion for the poor makes his selection seem like a chance for the church to reset its mission. we'll discuss the former archbishop of buenos aires's record and his significance, next. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ]
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as the catholic church held its conclave and elected a new pope, it was hard not to get swept up by the stunning splendor of st. peter's basilica. the cardinals chose a man who is known for eschewing luxuries. he swapped an extravagant residence for a modest apartment. he declined the limousine for the bus and often cooked his own meals. now as pope francis, he declined to leave the sistine chapel last night in the official pope mobile. choosing to ride on the bus with the other cardinals, there's no word yet on whether he will be donning the red prada shoes. here's a live look at the
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sistine chapel where francis is holding mass with the conference of cardinals, joining my panel is a raoul reyes, a columnist with "u.s.a. today." thank you so much for joining the panel. obviously this is an extremely historic. there's never been a pope from latin america. and meanwhile, latin america is where the growth in the catholic church is taking place. >> this is a huge shift of the church. away from you know, from europe to the new world. i can tell you i happen to be catholic like the majority of latinos in the u.s. this is one of those occasions because he is the first, because he is historic, everyone is very excited. the only thing i could compare it to is perhaps when sonia sotomayor was named to the high court. whether you were democrat or republican, no matter what your affiliations, if you were hispanic, you were just beyond excited and proud. and now that said -- >> except marco rubio, who was
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against her. he was the exception. >> and ted cruz. >> but everybody else though. that said, the gallup poll shows that among u.s. latinos, the numbers of catholics is dropping. and we don't have, however, crisis, a crisis of faith in this country among latinos, what we have is more of what i would call a crisis of connection. latinos want more of a mutual, they want a two-way relationship with the church and right now that's not there. right now we're seeing throughout latin america and the u.s. growth in the evangelical churches, so this is a step in the right direction, a pope that will reach back to people, who understands the poor. and for latin america, that's, you have to have been there almost to understand the level of income inequality and that is one of his issues. >> that's interesting that you brought up the issue, people, latinos in america. this was seen as we're picking from the americas, people forgot the emphasis that within the united states, right, you still have a majority catholic
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population among latino americans, but there is a growing evangelical shift where people are going to the protestant churches, is that because the activist piece has been missing? >> that and i think the catholic church has been seen among so many latinos as just too impersonal. not something that people can relate to and i have to say the fact that this pope is from argentina. argentina is the most secular country in all of latin america. this is the country that was the first in latin america to legal i'd gay marriage, same-sex adoption. they allow abortions in certain circumstances, which is not the case in most of latin america. i'm not saying that this pope, he argued against all of these things, he's not going to go in that direction. however he understands what it's like to live in that type of society. where the church is in danger of becoming irrelevant. >> he's of this world.
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>> the charismatic authority of these evangelical churches, a deep spirituality, a homily that relates to them is partly haas going on here as well. it will be interesting to see the distinction between the social liberalism of argentina with the kind of staunch traditionalism of the pope. >> the question i have, you have someone like this who talks, you know, great about the social justice mission of the church and seems to straddle some of the conservative and some of the liberal strains in the church. but still is down the line, on all the social -- whether that is indeed something that is a stumbling block. if you don't get past that, how you address women in the church and these issues of -- >> the gay rights, abortion, whether you can't move. >> quickly because we have to go, raul, quickly, do you think the pope will be a reformist? >> absolutely. in the area of economic justice and income equality, those are huge issues in latin america, he will make his mark. >> i'm sorry we didn't have a
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lot of time. thank you to the panel today. that is all for now, alex wagner returns tomorrow at noon, either, 9:00 a.m. pacific. joined by jonathan capehart. franklin four, kerry rudolph brown and the man behind the 47% video, until then you can find alex at facebook.com/now. and "andrea mitchell reports" is next. chances are, you're not made of money, so don't overpay for motorcycle insurance. geico, see how much you could save. try align. it's the number one ge recommended probiotic